AC773
Topic Author
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...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:52 am

Okay, maybe not.  Wink

But it's still very good! Let me start with a little backstory. I attend RIT in Rochester (we call ourselves the MIT rejects), the largest techincal institute in the country. As you might have guessed, we have a pretty wired campus:

  • Fiber, ethernet, and dark fiber lines all across campus
  • Complete wi-fi coverage
  • Two rings of dark fiber encircling the city of Rochester
  • Direct fiber line to a switchbox in downtown Rochester, connecting to a backbone of the internet
  • Fiber line on our side is switched with a DWDM box that splits the connection into 32 lambdas of light, each with a capacity of 10gb/s
  • So yes, that's a network capacity of 320 gigabits per second


Pure speed aside, we're a pretty big target for hackers and the like. Moreover, computers on campus are subject to all the usual Windows problems of spyware and viruses. My desktop machine is fully protected, but I never bothered to connect my laptop to the network because of all the performance-hogging programs needed to stay safe. I really wanted to get my laptop online, but what options did I have?

Linux, that's what! I decided to go with the Ubuntu distro as I'd be coming into this as a total newbie. I can do some fairly advanced procedures on a Windows machine, but all of this Unix stuff was Greek to me. The CD image is easily downloadable, and that's what I did.

After a quick and simple installation, I had Linux on my machine! It comes with a ton of drivers pre-loaded, so everything worked perfectly for me pretty much out of the box (machine in question is a standard Dell laptop). The only exception concerned the screen resolution, but I was able to clear that up very easily by just browsing the Ubuntu forums. The Linux community isn't very big, but most people are very knowledgeable and quite helpful.

Getting everyday things done is a snap thanks to the suite of applications that come right in the install disc. You've got Firefox, OpenOffice, and image editor, games, and tons of other stuff. Everything is really nice to use, and the interface couldn't be simpler to figure out.

Again I installed this on a laptop, so I still wanted to be able to use it as such. Thankfully, the touchpad didn't have any problems working and the fans kick in when they should to keep everything nice and cool. All of the volume control and screen brightness buttons work as they should, and my battery life is just as good as when I had Windows installed.

Linux isn't right for everyone, but it fits the bill beautifully if you want to have a secure, stable, and flexible OS for all your everyday tasks. Better yet, OpenOffice can view and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations compatible with MS Office and WINE is available for running that Windows app you just can't live without. For those of you that just want to try Linux, the downloadable CD from Ubuntu's site can be used to boot Linux from the disc. If you like Linux you can install it, and if you don't then you can just pop the disc out and be back to the Windows environment you're so familiar with.

And remember, it's really easy! Even a n00b like myself was able to get it up, running, and ready for use in the space of about 40 minutes.  biggrin 
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
deltagator
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:00 pm

Quoting AC773 (Thread starter):
...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Oh great...another nerd with a woodrow for a pain in the ass operating system with no support.  Wink

Quoting AC773 (Thread starter):
Fiber, ethernet, and dark fiber lines all across campus

Complete wi-fi coverage

Two rings of dark fiber encircling the city of Rochester

Direct fiber line to a switchbox in downtown Rochester, connecting to a backbone of the internet

Fiber line on our side is switched with a DWDM box that splits the connection into 32 lambdas of light, each with a capacity of 10gb/s

So yes, that's a network capacity of 320 gigabits per second

Now this stuff is cool. Networking and optical gets me all hot and bothered.  Wink Just kidding. It only keeps me employed.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
Queso
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:03 pm

http://vaporiser.student.utwente.nl/~timmie/Linux/penguin-ms.jpg
 
tz757300
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:11 pm

Quoting AC773 (Thread starter):
* Fiber, ethernet, and dark fiber lines all across campus
* Complete wi-fi coverage
* Two rings of dark fiber encircling the city of Rochester
* Direct fiber line to a switchbox in downtown Rochester, connecting to a backbone of the internet
* Fiber line on our side is switched with a DWDM box that splits the connection into 32 lambdas of light, each with a capacity of 10gb/s
* So yes, that's a network capacity of 320 gigabits per second


ooo, reading that made chills run down my spine. I want that stuff right now.
LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
 
satx
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:13 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
Oh great...another nerd with a woodrow for a pain in the ass operating system with no support.

It comes with all the support you could want, you just have to pay for it. The client I work for is slowly moving most of their enterprise applications to Linux and they would never have had the guts to do it if they weren't able to buy 24-hour support for it. AIX recently got the nod for one major system, but that migration went so poorly that everything else appears to be heading toward the linux platform. Personally I can't wait to dump this barely-supported Tru64 platform we're still on.
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
AC773
Topic Author
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:26 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
Oh great...another nerd with a woodrow for a pain in the ass operating system with no support.

Nerd? I'm majoring in journalism, so probably not.  Wink

...And I believe the point of this thread was that, to my surprise, Linux (Ubuntu at least) was not a pain in the ass.  biggrin 

Quoting SATX (Reply 4):
It comes with all the support you could want, you just have to pay for it.

Exactly, and official forums are available for free if you so desire.
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
deltagator
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:38 pm

Quoting SATX (Reply 4):
It comes with all the support you could want, you just have to pay for it.

I know. That is something that the Linux world has improved over the last few years and I applaud them for that. I think Linux as a server is ok but the desktop environment is still a longshot.

I'm a technical guy and the names they give applications in Linux barely make a lick of sense to me. Gimp? Why the hell would I use a leather bound homosexual for my picture editing needs? It's weird little things like that one that keep me away.

Quoting AC773 (Reply 5):
Nerd? I'm majoring in journalism, so probably not.

A J-School major at a tech school? I sho' is confused by you.  Wink
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
AC773
Topic Author
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:59 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 6):
A J-School major at a tech school? I sho' is confused by you.

I think you mean:

A Journalism major at an institute of technology? Your choice of schools leaves me confused at best.

Don't you hate us grammar types?  biggrin 
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:17 pm

Texas A&M requires students to use Suse Linux. I believe we run the Gnome 2.4 kernal last I checked, and it's a beating. The GUI is worse than Windows, no standard keyboard short-cuts work, and network printing is a royal pain in the ass.

Mac OS-X kills all

Windows is acceptable for tasks like AutoCAD and various industry specific applications

Linux is great for server applications, but the desktop environment will never be embraced by the general public (as if that needs to be explained...)
 
AC773
Topic Author
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:21 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 8):
Linux is great for server applications, but the desktop environment will never be embraced by the general public

User friendliness varies wildly between distros, and I'm well aware of some of the more frustratingly problematic versions out there. That said, my mini-review dealt entirely with Ubuntu which happens to be very user-friendly. Give it a spin yourself, you'll see what I mean.
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
deltagator
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:35 pm

Quoting AC773 (Reply 7):
A Journalism major at an institute of technology? Your choice of schools leaves me confused at best.

I'm just giving you a hard time. Tech school was obviously the wrong term to use. Or you could embrace it like they do at Georgia Tech when they refer to it as the "North Avenue Trade School."

Quoting AC773 (Reply 7):
Don't you hate us grammar types?

Please God let him take his career in journalism and interest in airliners to actually write a coherent aviation story for a major news service with no mistakes about bleed air, flaps, spoilers, and any other thing you can think of.  Wink
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
satx
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:39 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 6):
I think Linux as a server is ok but the desktop environment is still a longshot.

You're probably right when it comes to consumers, but my client pays millions of dollars every single year just to cover all the license and support fees for Microsoft operating systems and applications. Just imagine how much they could save if they used Linux instead. I wouldn't recommend that they switch everybody overnight, that would be hell, but moving a few systems over to Linux at a time and letting people who really put up a fight get to keep their silly Windows wouldn't be that bad in the grand scheme of things. So many applications are using web interfaces now that the OS is playing less and less of a role in how people do their job anyway.
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
AC773
Topic Author
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:03 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):
I'm just giving you a hard time.

Oh, I know. I was just giving you a hard time right back!  biggrin 
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
atlaaron
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:17 pm

Hey guys, you will probably see a separate thread from me doing a little advertising for myself (unless that is breaking a rule) but it also fits perfectly within this thread.

I work for an IBM business partner and I am a subject matter expert for IBM Software, open systems middleware to be exact. So if any of you guys are IT guys and your shop is in need of some IBM software please drop me a line. Let's hook each other up!

Btw Linux rules, open standards are what IBM is all about. Well really it is just more about sticking it to MSFT.
 
hawaiian717
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:46 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
Oh great...another nerd with a woodrow for a pain in the ass operating system with no support.

Let's see here...

Windows support: Fork over my credit card number to get some guy I can barely understand tell me I need to reformat my hard drive and reinstall Windows.

Ubuntu support: Hop on some web forum, do a search or make a post and find the answer.

Linux isn't the answer for everybody (Mac OS X is  devil  ) but for a lot of people it suits their needs (web browsing, email, basic word processing) just as well as Windows but without its problems.
 
WSOY
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:59 am

Im glad Microsoft is now promoting one of the Linux dialects. Some hope shines now on the "desktop" arena through standardisation, although I'd say the Mac OS X will be the winner among the current Unixes for the user with ordinary skills. To me it seems Linux has suffered enormously in the hands of the various distro kids.
"Nukkuessa tulee nälkä" (Nipsu)
 
IFEMaster
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:09 am

Quoting WSOY (Reply 15):
Im glad Microsoft is now promoting one of the Linux dialects. Some hope shines now on the "desktop" arena through standardisation, although I'd say the Mac OS X will be the winner among the current Unixes for the user with ordinary skills. To me it seems Linux has suffered enormously in the hands of the various distro kids.

Steve Bulmer made some interesting remarks last year on his views on open source technology, pretty much advocating it. I forget where it was now. It made me wonder...will we ever see a Microsoft distro? "Microsoft LinVistax"?
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:07 am

Could somebody explain to me the pros/cons of using Linux versus Windows. Also, there seems to be hundreds of "versions" or "distributions" or whatever you want to call it. It's a bit confusing. As far a personal desktop use, which are the best?

Kris
 
JGPH1A
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:19 am

I don't know much about it (I gave up trying to figure it out when I stopped programming TPF), but I know we're moving all our Open Back-ends from Unix to Linux, on huge PC farms - we're running the biggest GDS in the world on it,
putting 5,500 transactions per second through it. And it's free ! Wooohoo !
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Queso
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:24 am

You actually can have it both ways. I am currently on a laptop that has XP installed on the hard drive, but I booted it from a live-CD version of Debian-based Linux called "Knoppix". It works EXTREMELY well and if I want to go back to Windows I just pop out the CD and reboot. If you want to save your settings during the Knoppix session, you can put a USB drive in to save them on, and you can also run the whole Knoppix OS from a USB thumb drive if you like!

Just download the .ISO and burn it to a CD to try it. VERY easy to use. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoppix

I've also used other live-CD based versions of Linux, like DSL (Damned Small Linux), PuppyLinux, etc. They're all a lot of fun and easy to use.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:33 am

I would never, ever, *ever* recommend Linux for a desktop system.

I do run it on servers tho.

Put the tool to work where it does the best job.
 
IFEMaster
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:52 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 20):
I would never, ever, *ever* recommend Linux for a desktop system.

This again?

Certain distros work great on the desktop. SuSe, Mandrake, and Ubuntu are the three I'd recommend. BUT, only if you're savvy enough to understand the difference between Windoze and Linux. If you don't know why you'd need it, then you're probably better off not having it.

As for me, I'm Linux all the way with the exception of my office desktop. Ubuntu on my home desktop, Mandrake on my laptop and my wife's laptop, and SuSe on my personal webserver.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
FlyKev
Crew
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:56 am

I'm a SuSe person myself.
Ive tried ubuntu, but I found SuSe easier to install.
Linux isn't quite ready to take on windows fully just yet, but its beginning to ripen.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
RichardPrice
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:24 pm

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 21):

Certain distros work great on the desktop. SuSe, Mandrake, and Ubuntu are the three I'd recommend. BUT, only if you're savvy enough to understand the difference between Windoze and Linux. If you don't know why you'd need it, then you're probably better off not having it.

Certain distros get by on the desktop, no distros do 'great', and its got nothing to do with the differences between Linux and Windows.

Linux desktop environments are simply not where they should be at this point in time, the alternatives (OSX and, yes, Windows) are quite simply better for productive work or entertainment.

Just to make sure you realise this isnt coming from a random person without the facts, my first Linux install was an X11 system in 1995 and Ive had a Linux desktop box close to hand ever since. And my judgement is that I wouldnt use it as my primary desktop for a long time yet.
 
atlaaron
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:18 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 23):
Just to make sure you realise this isnt coming from a random person without the facts, my first Linux install was an X11 system in 1995 and Ive had a Linux desktop box close to hand ever since. And my judgement is that I wouldnt use it as my primary desktop for a long time yet.

It does however belong on a zSeries IFL.  bigthumbsup 
 
deltagator
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RE: ...And On The Third Day, God Created Linux

Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 pm

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 13):
open standards are what IBM is all about

That has to be one of the funniest things I've ever read!

I know IBM is changing their model and now loves Linux and open standards for some stuff but they were the master of closed systems for so long and still to this day on many things.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."

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